As international troops get ready to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and NATO-ISAF (International Assistance Security Force) prepare the Afghan National Security Forces to take over from them, there is fear and misgiving in neighbouring Pakistan, particularly in the adjoining regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A Kremlin compromise on nuclear disarmament looks as far away as ever as Russian president Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama use their countries’ strained relations to bolster their own domestic political agendas, experts say.
After a year of intense diplomatic standoff and territorial brinkmanship among disputing states in the South and East China Seas, the U.S. military ‘pivot’ to the region appears to be in full swing - a move that could further aggravate an already combustible regional dynamic.
The Middle East-North Africa – MENA -- is Arab-Muslim with a growing Jewish island in its midst. It was colonised for over four centuries by the Sunni Ottoman Turks, then the secular West, United Kingdom-France-Italy -- for half a century and is now under Israeli colonialism and U.S. imperialism.
The timing of Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for early elections is no coincidence. The incumbent Prime Minister’s strategy is to receive the Israeli public’s renewed confidence as a new U.S. president takes office, thus making himself immune to U.S. pressure as the debate on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear programme enters a critical phase.
The wave of unrest in the Middle East caused by blasphemous depictions of Islam's Prophet Muhammad last month – and events near the U.S. embassy in Cairo in particular – does not appear to have impaired Egypt's longstanding 'strategic partnership’ with Washington, say local analysts.
U.S. human rights groups have roundly condemned Thursday's announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department will not pursue prosecutions of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers who may have been responsible for the deaths of two prisoners in their custody.
Following Monday’s announcement of the death of long-time Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian civil society leaders and Western rights groups are characterising the turn of events as an opportunity to heal decades of increasingly stark sectarianism.
The crisis that started a few years ago with the collapse of major financial institutions in the United States is now centred in Europe and threatens other parts of the world. Many emerging countries in Asia and Latin America that had thus far avoided contamination because of their sound economic and fiscal policies and their timely adoption of domestic consumption stimulus packages are now beginning to experience secondary effects.
We are currently witnessing the worst features of the state system: trading insults and threats, sanctions, readiness to use extreme violence, forward deployment of U.S. troops in Israel as hostages to guarantee U.S. involvement in a possible war, disregard for common people and the effects of warfare in the Middle East and the world.
As the Syrian army has stepped up its attacks against opposition strongholds in Homs and elsewhere, the U.S. and its allies have achieved little consensus in choosing a course of action to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
“The quiet before the storm” is how Israeli pundits describe the countdown – not to Israel going solo on Iran’s nuclear and military installations, but to the meeting between due Monday next week between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A year ago the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was greeted with general satisfaction and considerable relief. Was it already possible to glimpse (for example, in the spectacle of the Egyptian leader being judged bedridden in a cage) the difficulties that lay ahead for North Africa and the Middle East fulfilling the promise of the "Arab Spring"?